Effectiveness of using subtitle videos

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Effectiveness Of Using Subtitle Videos In Learning English ‘ A Study Of Iranian Learners

Have A Shorter First Paragraph For The Introduction (Highlighted Green)


All through the years, there has been an increasing emphasis on teaching English as an instrument for communication, and technology has played a critical function in facilitating authentic communication. The movement of language teaching objectives and practices has changed from the printed word and knowledge of language systems to the use and communicative value of the spoken language in the everyday setting (Vanderplank, 1993). In a sense, the efficacy of multimedia has drawn great consideration and is presumed, under the theory of adding an additional channel of media to send out a message, to significantly improve communication and comprehension (Dwyer, 1978). Multimedia technology [like TV, computers, networks, emails video cassette recorders (VCRS), compact disc ready-only memories (CD-ROMs) and interactive multimedia] aids the teaching technique of integrating real-life situations with the target language into the language classroom. In this meticulous setting, learners slowly expand their language acquisition by being exposed to the authentic environment of the target language. According (new paragraph) to one of the most outstanding theories of second language acquisition, Krashen (1985) proposed that learners can learn a large amount of language unconsciously through ample comprehensible input. The Input Hypothesis, stated by Krashen, argues that the use of a target language in real communicative environments and the stress on rich comprehensible input by exposing the learners to the target language in the classroom facilitate their language acquisition. In other words, language acquisition only happens when comprehensible input is suitably delivered. In this respect, language teachers struggle to employ a wide range of teaching techniques to make authentic situations and to promote learners' language acquisition.

Many researchers have presented strong evidence that multimedia (like computers, video, and TV) have helpful effects on language learning due to rich and authentic comprehensible input (Brett, 1995; Egbert & Jessup, 1996; Khalid, 2001). Results of these studies demonstrated the significance of the use of multimedia develops learners' language performance in reading, listening comprehension and vocabulary recognition. One survey study by the American Association of School Administrators showed that 94 percent of teachers and supervisors believe that technology has enhanced students' learning considerably. Similarly, many English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) teachers concur that educational technology presents many possibilities for progressing students' language proficiency, including their vocabulary, reading, listening, and speaking.

Similarly, television programs and videos have created a place in the communication of information and are powerful apparatus in improving language teaching (Anderson & Lorch, 1983). Both TV and videos communicate not only visually through pictures but also aurally throughout the spoken word, music and sound effects. The subtitle, a key role on television and videotapes, is coordinated with the dialogue or narration of the program's audio track, expanding comprehension and understanding of TV programs and videos. Lambert, Boehler and Sidoti (1981) have asserted that the constant general movement indicates that information coming through two input types (e.g., dialogue and subtitles) is more systematically processed than if either dialogue or captions are presented alone. This result (supports or) is in agreement with the dual-coding theory by Allan Paivio (1971), sustaining the usefulness of multiple-channel communication. In the same way, Hartman's (1961a) findings support the between-channel redundancy theory which suggested that when information is redundant between two input sources (e.g., dialog and subtitles), comprehension will be superior than when the information is coming through one input form, (e.g., dialog). He also gave a description of redundant information as identical information from the visual and verbal stimuli. In this respect, Hartman completed that the benefit of the multiple-channel learning system is this: information coming from two information sources is more comprehensible than that through one. Information input through different sensory channels supplies receivers with additional stimuli reinforcement to guarantee that more complete learning happens. More explicitly, the additional stimuli reinforcement helps out learners in systematizing and structuring the incoming information.

However, a contrasting theory, the single channel theory proposed by Broadbent (1958), states that human can only process information throughout one channel at a time. This theory assumes that the decline of learning takes place if the information is received through two or more sources. The learning is delayed when the multiple-channel presentation of information is used in the teaching-learning process. Along with this contentious viewpoint between the single and the multiple-channel presentation, an awareness of and interest in the use of multimedia resources have been increasing, like the presentation of subtitled materials.

Today, language learning has turned out to be more available by implementing multimedia with spoken information and full visual context, such as subtitles. For instance, subtitled videos representing words and pictures in an aural and in a visual form are more probable to activate both coding systems in the processing than words or pictures alone. The dual-coding theory proposed by Paivio (1971) suggests that when pictures are added to the meaning, the number of signals connected with the message increases. Viewers then will be more probable to keep the message in mind. Therefore, the results of the past research appear to sustain the aspect that the use of captions causes multi-sensory processing, interacting with audio, video and print mechanisms. These information input foundations get the process of language learning better, improve the comprehension of the content, and increase vocabulary by looking at the subtitled words in meaningful and stimulating circumstances. In addition, a lot of teachers consider captions shed some new light on a better way of using various multimedia in the ESL classroom. When subtitled technology appeared more than 15 years ago, many educators quickly saw value in exploiting its potential in helping students process language in a different way and effectively by means of the printed word. (Goldman, 1996; Holobow, Lambert, & Sayegh, 1984; Koskinen, Wilson, Gambrell, & Neuman, 1993; Parks, 1994; Vanderplank, 1993).

Captions, which are English written subtitles on instructional English-as-second-language (ESL) videos in this study, are the written version of the audio constituent that permits dialogue, music, narration and sound effects to be shown at the bottom of the screen on most televisions. There are two kinds of captions explained in general terms: the open caption and the closed caption. Closed captions refer to the captions that are not automatically visible to the viewer; however can be viewed by turning on through use of a remote control or an electronic caption decoder. By contrast, open captions are visible to all viewers without turning them on with a remote control. Captioning is not only the main function of the TV but a positive function of video tapes. Video tapes offer captioning by those who specialize in computer workstations. To make captions visible, an electronic caption decoder is obligatory, that is easily attached to a television set. Although it is not available in some areas of the world, captioning technology is broadly accessible and draws great attention in the United States. In 1990, the U. S. Congress passed the Television Decoder Circuitry Act requiring that all new televisions, thirteen inches or larger, be prepared with caption decoder circuitry. The function of the decoder circuitry is to receive, decode, and show closed subtitles from cable, DVD signals and videotape appropriately. With reference to this regulation, the consumer is no longer required to pay for a separate decoder, when in possession of an applicable TV set. Therefore, thousands of people in the U.S. have access to subtitles without any trouble by pushing the button on the remote controls (National Captioning Institute, 1989). However, available access of subtitles on foreign film videos is still restricted in other countries, such as Taiwan and Japan, where external subtitle decoders are necessary for viewing.

Captioning was devised initially for the hearing impaired. The statistics on the number of decoders sold confirm that more than half were bought for the hearing impaired who assert that decoders are helpful to them. Increasingly, the use of subtitles has also augmented among the non-native speakers who are motivated to improve their language learning. A study by Hofmeister, Menlove, and Thorkildsen (1992) discovered that 40 percent of people other than the hearing impaired buy the decoders, such as foreign students. To be explicit, the motive for this phenomenon is that subtitles show words in a motivating atmosphere where the audio, video and print media help viewers comprehend the unknown words and meanings in their context. However, subtitles have a great impact on comprehension improvement of specific TV programs and improve English language learning progressively.

For the benefits of the multimedia approach, ESL programs began to incorporate subtitled materials into the curricula to help ESL students' language learning. The focus on teaching techniques and on means of optimizing students' comprehension of the second language has been of great concern through these multimedia. Koskinen, Wilson, Gambrell, and Neuman (1993) stated that the subtitled video is a new and promising approach for improving students' vocabulary, reading comprehension, and motivation. Other researches have been conducted to inspect whether subtitled TV and video improve or obstruct students' learning. The results have indicated/suggested that captioned TV and videos are helpful for the hearing impaired, ESL students and disabled students (Bean & Wilson, 1989; Borras & Lafayette, 1994; Ellsworth, 1992; Garza, 1991; Goldman, 1996; Goldman & Goldman, 1988; Markham, 1989; Nugent, 1983; Parlato, 1985; Price, 1983; Vanderplank, 1991; Webb, Vanderplank, & Parks, 1994; Wilson & Koskinen, 1986).

Despite a large number of studies suggesting/demonstrating the benefits of the use of captions for the hearing-impaired, language learners, and disabled students, similar studies on the use of English captions in English teaching are still limited in Iran. Thus, there is great scope for additional examination into the potential use of captioned television videos to enhance language teaching to English-as-Foreign-Language (EFL) students. The design of this research elaborates mainly on the language learning achievements.

This study adds to the aforementioned to investigate the exposure of target language input to students through the presentation subtitled videos. This research focuses on the absence or presence of 10 English captioned ESL instructional video episodes for a period of five weeks as a primary variable in an experiment to help determine the conditions for the improvement of Iranian college students' learning English as a foreign language in Iran.

Statement Of The Problem

Many people in Iran have problems when it comes to communicating with foreigners in English. In addition, to get information from the Internet, having a fair amount of English knowledge is required. That makes accessing information a problem for those with limited English language proficiency. In addition, those Iranian students who wish to study abroad, language is the main problem since they have studied in Farsi for all their educational life, and thus adapting to a non-Persian environment is consequently very difficult. Students in Iran, start learning the Basic English at their secondary schools, however the curriculum structure, is based on teaching grammar rather than oral skills; therefore, most students' oral communication skills are limited. .

Moloney (1995) states that the emergence of English in the global market has resulted in the current ardor for learning English in developing countries. The need for English in Iran is unique. English is not only a required course for Iranian students, but also required and tested as part of major entrance examinations in Iran. These mentioned issues are going to be considered in proposing subtitles in videos and English learning movie solution.

Objectives Of The Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness captioned videos in enhancing college students' language learning in Iran (English as a foreign language (EFL)) (take the section in brackets out if you can). In the study, the term language learning is represents two types of performances. The first is students' language comprehension of listening, reading, vocabulary on a particular video episode, as evaluated by a Content Specific Tests (CST). The second is . . .


This study focuses on English language learner's comprehension performance on the Content-Specific Tests (CST) of vocabulary, listening and reading comprehension. The researcher tested each of the following null hypotheses as she controls the initial differences of the participants in their general English proficiency. Each of the following null hypotheses was tested: (you can take away the previous sentence)

Ho 1: There is no significant difference on the scores in the listening comprehension subtest of the CST between subjects watching videos with subtitles and those watching videos without subtitles.

Ho 2: There is no significant difference on the scores in the content vocabulary subtest of the CST between subjects watching videos with subtitles and those watching videos without subtitles.

Ho 3: There is no significant difference on the scores in the content comprehension subtest of the reading between subjects watching videos with subtitles and those watching videos without subtitles.

Definition Of The Terms

The definitions are given here to make sure uniformity and understanding of these terms throughout the study.

Subtitle: A caption of the spoken words that is designed for the deaf and hearing-impaired people that, to some extent, help them read what they cannot hear. The terms subtitles and captions are interchangeably used in this research and are described as the translations of the spoken words to the written with the identical language shown at the bottom of the screen.

Closed Caption: A subtitle of spoken words viewed by a special decoding device installed in the television set or a special decoder machine.

Open Caption: A caption of spoken words that always is printed at the bottom of the screen.

Content-Specific Test (CST): An instrument designed by the researcher for this study used to measure learners' overall comprehension in terms of listening, vocabulary and content comprehension of a particular video segment. The CST includes the three subtests: listening, vocabulary and content comprehension.

Content Vocabulary: The vocabulary that comes into sight from the particular video piece viewed by the subjects

Content Comprehension: Content comprehension that focuses mainly on the whole story script and test viewers' comprehension of the particular information shown in the video

ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY (leave gaps between each chapter)

This study is divided into five chapters. Chapter I introduces the foundation for this research, the purpose of the study, and definitions of key terms used throughout the study to diminish potential misunderstanding. (GAP)

Chapter II presents a review of the literature of the use of captions. It starts with a theoretical review of the cognitive information processing relevant to the single channel theory and the multiple-channel theory, with focus on the cue-summation theory, the between-channel redundancy theory, the dual-coding theory and the capacity theory. It then keeps on with a discussion of the schemata theory, the Comprehensible Input Hypothesis by Krashen and the ACT Model by Anderson. Subsequently, the relevant major research on captions for the hearing-impaired, disabled, normal reading ability, and language learners is offered. (GAP)

Chapter III outlines the method of hypotheses testing formulated in Chapter I. It also includes the research design, followed by a description of the subjects in this study, the treatment materials employed, the testing instruments, the data collection procedure, and the details of the data analysis applied. (GAP)

In Chapter IV, the analyses is performed to reveal the research hypotheses are explained in detail, with the quantitative results of these analyses and an interpretation of the results. (GAP)

The final chapter, Chapter V, summarizes the findings of the study in light of research hypotheses and discusses the performance of the subjects and the results of the analyses shown in Chapter IV. The conclusion interprets the effect of captioned videos on EFL students' language learning in relation to their listening and reading comprehension and their vocabulary. To synthesize the conclusion of this study, pedagogical implications, the limitations of the study and further research are presented.